Tags: garbage

Trash to Treasure

Contemporary artists have found a new way to recycle discarded objects by transforming them into beautiful artwork. This unconventional technique has proven to be wildly popular and it echoes the Freshkills Park message that trash can be transformed into something beautiful.

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Talking Trash with the Center for Urban Pedagogy

For the past year, students at the Frances Perkins Academy in Brooklyn took a deep dive into New York City’s trash. The partnership was part of the Center for Urban Pedagogy’s Urban Investigations program. Students research pertinent issues in their community then, with the help of a Teaching Artist, learn how to share their information in a meaningful way.

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Freshkills Park, Fifteen Years after Landfill Closure

 

Fifteen years ago this week, the final barge of household garbage arrived at Fresh Kills Landfill. To celebrate this milestone, the website’s new interactive landfill-to-park timeline illustrates almost 100 years of changes in the area.

The last barge to Fresh Kills marked the end of 53 years of landfill operations.

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Students Take a Stand against Plastic Bags after Visiting Freshkills Park

 

On February 9th, students at James Madison High School built a chain of plastic bags around the school building in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. The project was meant to raise awareness about excessive use of the material and its harmful impact on the environment.

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Close to Foam

At around 95% air, Expanded Polystyrene foam (EPS) is incredibly buoyant, which is why it was used by the U.S. Coast Guard to build a six-person life raft in 1942.

EPS, commonly known as Styrofoam, has since floated into everyday life, with people using billions of foam cups, bowls, plates, takeout containers, trays, and packing peanuts every year.

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SF Bans Bottled Water on City Property


The City of San Francisco recently announced that it would ban the sale of bottled water in containers less than 21 oz on city property. San Francisco will be the first major city in the US to enact such a ban, though Concord, Massachusetts and Grand Canyon National Park have already replaced bottled water with water bottle filling stations.

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Gowanus Canal Cleanup

The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized its cleanup plan for Gowanus Canal. The Brooklyn Canal, bound by Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Red Hook, was declared a Superfund site in 2010 and communities have long been pushing for its cleanup.

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Making Art out of Recycled Materials

Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium in Times Square is hosting a contest titled “Materials Matter Amazing Art Challenge” for New York City art students. The submissions for the contest are due in April and selected students will have their work exhibited at Ripley’s.

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Mierle Laderman Ukeles and Maintenance Art at Freshkills Park

The Social Mirror by Mierle Laderman Ukeles

If you’ve been to Sneak Peak, perhaps you’ve noticed your own reflection in the side of a Department of Sanitation garbage truck.

This 20 cubic-yard garbage truck faced with hand-tempered mirror is The Social Mirror by artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles.

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Forty percent of U.S. food ends up in a landfill

Source: www.good.is

A new study released this week by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that 40 percent of food produced in the United States ends up in the trash, making food waste the single largest portion of trash in our landfills.

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Company turns plant waste into free mulch for urban farming

Tomato planting at Hayes Valley Farm, San Francisco. Photo: Hayes Valley Farm on Flickr

A San Francisco company is spurring local urban agriculture by turning organic waste into mulch, and giving it away for free. Bayview Greenwaste collects plant waste for a fee, grinds it into mulch, then gives it away to any organization that wants it, including nonprofits, municipalities, private citizens, schools, and power plants.

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The West Coast leads the way with innovative Recycling Programs

Curbside recycling bins on the west coast

West Coast cities such as San Francisco, Portland and Seattle have recently become leaders in the effort to reduce the size of landfills by enacting a myriad of cutting-edge recycling programs. The New York Times reports that in Portland, a new biweekly garbage pickup schedule will cut back on the waste sent to landfills by 44 percent.

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Methane generates revenue at Freshkills Park

Methane gas produced from decomposing waste at Fresh Kills landfill is generating revenue for the City of New York of up to $12 million each year as the site is developed into a 2,200-acre park.

With the help of advanced landfill gas collection infrastructure throughout the landfill, the New York City Department of Sanitation is actively harvesting methane, through rigorous state and federal public health and safety guidelines, from the decomposing waste buried at Fresh Kills landfill.

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Garden mulch from beer bottles

The recent closure of a town landfill in Tennessee has spurred an innovation in the afterlife of one common discard: beer bottles. Faced with the prospect of high tipping fees associated with hauling its waste elsewhere, the Cumberland County Recycling Center purchased a glass grinder which pulverizes heavy bottles and jars – a heavy component of the town’s waste – into fine gravel, dust, and mulch-like products.

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Mexico City’s Trash for Greenpoints program

Continuing with the increasingly popular efforts to become a more sustainable metropolis, Mexico City has initiated a new barter-style market in which residents can trade recyclable materials for locally grown foodstuffs.

The opening of the new government sponsored (website in Spanish) market follows similar events lauded by environmentalists such as the closure of the Bordo Peniente Landfill, and green vertical gardens which we’ve previously blogged about.

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NYC loves textile recycling

In June of last year we made note of a promising new partnership between the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and Housing Works focused on collecting, reusing and recycling unwanted clothing, linens, shoes and clean rags. Less than a year after introducing the program, supporters have pronounced it a grand success.

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Geeky Garbage

This Monday Gelf Magazine, an NYC-based independent webzine “looking over the overlooked”, will host Geeky Garbage, a discussion about one of the most overlooked aspect of our daily lives — waste. On hand will be former Freshkills Park Talks lecturers Robin Nagle (DSNY anthropologist-in-residence) and Howard Warren (expert on the Barren Island/Dead Horse Bay), with Max Liboiron, a trash artist and pollution activist.

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City of Systems: Waste Removal

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/32527263 w=507&h=284]

A recent video on Urban Omnibus, featuring Garbage Land and Bottlemania author Elizabeth Royte, offers a glimpse behind the complex process of everyday garbage collection in New York City. Combining interview, animated graphics, and often poetic archival and present-day footage, the video tells a succinct story of one citizen’s look into the past, present, and possible future of municipal solid waste management.

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Here and there

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvYsnJuoYZ8&w=507&h=370]

A clear and compelling promotional video by the Dan Region of Towns in Tel-Aviv for their transformation of the Hiriya Landfill into a 2000-acre park focused on environmental sustainability.  Sound like a familiar type of project? The many folks involved in planning, building and educating about the site and the lessons it can teach have been great supporters of the Freshkills Park project. 

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Portland, OR implements plastic bag ban

As of summer 2011, the City of Portland, Oregon has placed a ban on single-use non-biodegradable plastic bags.  The City anticipates the ban will reduce use and subsequent landfilling of plastic bags by millions. The ban does not apply to all vendors in Portland; it is limited to stores grossing over $2 million annually or exceeding 10,000 square feet in size. 

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